Intel Promises Unified Networking with Open FCoE Technology
Intel is aiming to be part of the cloud frontier with its new free unified networking technology that will enable data center traffic to run over one single cable. Translation? Consolidation of cable equipment and infrastructure. Read on for some implications for MSPs and VARs managing their data centers …
It's called Intel Open FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) and in case you were wondering if Intel's working alone in this space, it's not — the company boats industry support from the likes of Cisco, Dell, EMC, NetApp, Oracle and Red Hat.
As data centers and cloud centers grow and become increasingly more complicated, connectivity limitations and complications are bound to arise. Intel's OpenFCoE provides a way to run all data center traffic inside one single cable, as long as you're using Intel's 10 Gigabit Ethernet Server Adapter X520.
By combining data and storage networks onto a single 10GbE network line, Intel says it could reduce global IT spending by $3 billion a year, and save 400 million feet of data center cabling. The single-line network is also part of Intel's 2015 cloud initiative with a focus on the "Open Data Center" that is easy to manage and implement, and can withstand high traffic demand. Intel sees the move as a necessary one because, according to Intel, too many IT dollars are spent on the infrastructure of a company network instead of innovation.
Intel's press release noted Open FCoE can be used without any expensive or proprietary hardware, but it does require this unified networking solution to be delivered with the X520 adapter. The release also said IT departments can take advantage of regular management tools for server networks and integrate them into existing Fibre Channel environments — this likely is what Intel meant when it said the technology doesn't require additional special hardware.
The aforementioned industry leaders that supported the open solution will be offering the Intel X520 adapters with their solutions, and the Open FCoE standard will be provided as a free software stack upgrade. Check out the tech details of Intel's unified networking initiative here.
With IT spending once again on the rise, VARs may be able to look at data center consolidation as a value-add or additional avenue to approach potential customers.